Productivitis

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Passion to the Third Degree.

Yes, I’m sick. No voice. Allergy-induced laryngitis with mini-asthma attacks. I stopped taking the allergy meds in late April because I never have allergy attacks between late April and early August. Ever. But this year, with the smoke and drought hitting Florida, I’m dealing with some allergens of a different sort.

The Long-Awaited Honest-to-God Secret to Being Happy

This is not a good week to be sick. I have too much to do at work. I have plans for my weekend. I’m postponing any coffee dates until I can do something other than look sniffly and pathetic, but Jillian’s in town for a conference and I haven’t seen her in over two years. How am I going to paint the town magenta with Jillian if I’m sick?

And yet, when I wasn’t napping today, I was still being productive. Sitting in the yard and planting flowers. I feel like crap, but my yard’s pretty.

You see, I hate being sick. If I lose my voice, I want to sing. If I hurt my knee, I want to go for long walks. If I’m stuck on the sofa snoozing when I don’t want to be snoozing, I can’t stand it. I’m one of those people who has to be doing something.

So I didn’t feel creative or analytical today. I took it easy, napped, did a little gardening while listening to podcasts. Had something to show for my day besides pillow lines on my face.

Late in the day, I sent the girls for take-out while I finished a gardening task, without my iPod speakers broadcasting anything at all while I worked. My hands were busy and so was my mind, and I had an incredible idea for a project. It’s quick. It’s a moneymaker.

It’s also the kind of thing I used to spend my own time researching and putting together. That’s one of the decisions I’ve made recently—to subcontract out as many of my “lower tier” but time-consuming tasks as possible.

So before I attempt sleep tonight (not an easy task at the moment), I’m taking a soothing bath while I figure out the specifics, and then I’m putting a request for quote out at my favorite virtual assistant site to take bids. This is one project where I want to see just how far I can go with outsourcing as much of the mundane part of a creative project as possible. If ever I’m to learn to delegate, I am doing it now.

And to be sick today, perhaps letting go of the shit-work and focusing on the part of the work that excites me is the most productive I can be.